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The Power of Prayer in Times of Disaster: What Kind of Difference Does It Make?

09-12-2017
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How did prayer affect the impact of Hurricane Irma? CBN News spoke with CBN vice president and prayer leader Jay Comiskey. Watch above.

Christians across the country and around the world prayed against Hurricane Irma and prayed for the people in her path.

For example, dozens gathered last week in Florida at the Jacksonville Beach Pier to pray, a service that also included hymns and Bible passages. Others gathered in worship and prayer on a Miami Beach.

"As Christians, we are told in Scripture that we can speak storms to quiet down like Jesus did," organizer Mary Parker said. 

"That people care about Jacksonville. They care about the beaches. They don't want any more erosion; they don't want any more destruction of property or families dying. They came to prevent what happened in Texas," she continued, explaining why people attended.

Faith was also on display in the Trump administration as Irma threatened Florida. President Donald Trump bowed in prayer with his Cabinet as Vice President Mike Pence opened an emergency planning meeting with prayer at Camp David on Saturday.

And people of faith continue to pray for storm victims in the aftermath of Irma and Harvey, and for other victims of natural disasters like wildfires in parts of the nation, and for those in Mexico which was recently hit by an earthquake and hurricane.

So how is all this prayer making a difference?

CBN News Contributing Correspondent Chuck Holton visited with people in Ft. Myers, Marco Island, Naples and Miami. He says a common response was that storm victims are very grateful for the prayers on their behalf and that the damage wasn't worse.

Holton said shopkeepers told him, "Thank God that He answered our prayers and that we're coming back to water damage and not coming back to a concrete slab."

CBN vice president and prayer leader Jay Comiskey says prayer works, and those who prayed made a difference.

"The Lord says the effectual, fervent prayer of any man or any woman -- it's gonna accomplish much (James 5:16)," he told CBN News. "So I can assure you with millions of people like you, like me, praying for our neighbors, our citizens, our family down in Florida, it did make a big difference."

Watch our entire interview with Jay Comiskey at the top of this article.

And in the aftermath, Comiskey has advice on how to pray for people now.

"So we can just start with leadership, and then let's just break it down again to every person in Florida who's going through difficulty," he said. "Let's pray that God will comfort them, encourage them and strengthen them that they'll make the right decisions."
 

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